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To a distance of 8 - 10 miles inland from the marshy strip backing the beach the ground rises gently to a height of approx. 150 ft, with small reentrants running in a NORTHERLY direction to the sea.

In this area the soil is generally loam with intense cultivation of thin limestone over rock. The going for AFVs should be good in all weathers, and for MT in dry weather

The country is open and undulating, for the most part cultivated, but with few hedges or ditches. While orchards and small crops are frequent, it is noteworthy that they are almost all concentrated round the villages, so that the general aspect of the country is of close knots of houses dotted over the surface of the open rolling country side, surrounded by orchards and trees.

WEST of the line ARROMANCIIES - RYES the country becomes more thickly covered in hedges and trees, making movement for MT more difficult across country. On the whole the area is good tank country, and in dry weather passable to most MT.

In the valley bottoms vehs would find soft ground occasionally impassable. The only period of the year at which going is likely to be good is in autumn when the stubble is still on the fields. This does not apply to the fields containing root crops, as they are reported to provide very treacherous surfaces at all times of the year.

The only cover from the air, generally speaking, is in the villages or the orchards which surround them, although tanks will find in this undulating country ample opportunities for hull down posns. In this type of country the high buildings especially church towers, in towns and villages, have the best command of the country. On the hills there are several good observation pts affording views over the open cultivated country.

The region is broken by the broad valleys of several minor rivers; the AURE and its tributaries flow NORTH and WEST, while the SEULLES flows NORTH and then EAST. Near the coast the river valleys are separated by low rounded bridges.


The rd system in this part of the coast is not unlike our own in the SW of England, where the rds have been developed in accordance with the local need, which are mainly agricultural. Thus, only the main rds are really suitable for two way traffic, whilst the secondary rds are suitable only for one way traffic, and are usually very tortuous.

The only river that will affect the BN on the first day is the river LA GRONDE which runs in a SOUTHERLY direction through ASNELISS SUR MER and on to RYES.

This is little more than a stream rarely exceeding 6 ft in width and though presenting an obstacle to MT is easily passable to the agile infanteer. It could well serve as an axis of advance from

All the villages in our Sector are situated around wells, but owing to the possibility of pollution all local water supplies should be treated with suspicion until confirmed by a medical authority.

26 MAY 449

(Sgd).w. Wood,
Lieut. I.O. 2 DEVON.

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: Story of 2nd Battalion the Devonshire Regiment, 1944 Mar - June

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